Arts and Entertainment

X-Files star Gillian Anderson is returning to the London stage to play Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.

Man in the Dark, by Paul Auster

Reflections from a hall of mirrors where the present changes shape

Preview: Small craft warnings, Arcola Theatre, London

A motley crew drowning in their sorrows

Savage Grace, 15

The lurid true-life tale of the Baekeland family, inheritors of the Bakelite fortune, charts the troubles that wealth and boredom can bring in their wake. Not one for those who like a happy ending

Gore Vidal: Feuds, 'vicious' mother and rumours of a secret love child

He slept with Kerouac, hung out with Jackie O and feuded with Mailer. He's the last surviving giant of American literature's golden age. So why is Gore Vidal still so sensitive about his reputation?

Phoenix Dance Theatre, Sadler's Wells, London

Phoenix's new programme makes for a literary evening. It can be a strain: versions of Othello and The Glass Menagerie are stylised, sometimes stylish, often confusing. It's not until the final piece, Paseillo, that dance and characterisation are satisfyingly blended.

Phoenix Dance Theatre, Sadler's Wells London

Sinuous movements to Tennessee Williams reading his own script make for a compelling merger

Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan; When a twee pop beauty met a rock'n'roll beast

Belle and Sebastian's Isobel Campbell is on to her second album with rocker Mark Lanegan. She tells Tim Cooper about an odd coupling

The Glass Menagerie, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Brenda Blethyn is billed as the star of Tennessee Williams's haunting "memory play", The Glass Menagerie. Yet, despite the aching combination of brittle brightness and sense of missed opportunity that she brings to the part of the aging Southern belle Amanda Wingfield, Braham Murray's luminous production is in fact very much an ensemble piece. The intimate in-the-round space adds its own dynamics to the tense interaction between Williams's four characters, Simon Higlett's ingenious set drawing the audience in to the stifling claustrophobia of life in the Wingfields' shabby basement.

Tennessee Williams' version of Chekhov's 'The Seagull'is being performed in Britain for the first time

On 15 February the flamboyant, ageing actress Irina Arkadina will sweep across the stage of the Exeter Northcott Theatre, seducing and bullying her son, Constantin, and her lover, Trigorin. But the actors (Mary Tamm, Philip Cumbus, and James Wallace, respectively) will not be performing in another version of The Seagull. They are appearing in the UK premiere of a play that Tennessee Williams wrote at the end of his life, The Notebook of Trigorin.

Caesar in a bun

Serves 4

Paul Bowles: A Life, by Virginia Spencer-Carr

He ushered in the end of civilisation

Edward Bunker

Bank robber turned crime writer and actor

The Heart of America - Your three- part guide to the most exciting destinations in the US

Even if you were brought up in Herts, I bet you have a pretty good working knowledge of the heart of America. In your mind you may have ridden a streetcar named Desire through New Orleans with Tennessee Williams, boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh with Paul Simon, driven down Route 66 with Chuck Berry - and in reality you may have seen more episodes of Dallas and ER than you care to admit.

A Streetcar Named Desire, Lyttelton, National Theatre, London

Blanche is too tough and Kowalski too sensitive in this miscast 'Streetcar'

Friday book: The influential role performed by pink plays

Out on Stage: lesbian and gay theatre in the twentieth century
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence